Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Drug Doubles Endurance, extends lifespan 30%

26 Nov 2006
One of the most interesting stories of this type I've ever come across:
A drug that prolongs life, averts degenerative disease and, on top of all that, makes you into a champion athlete -- at least if you are a mouse -- sounds almost too good to be true.

They also have a reduced heart rate and energy-charged muscles, just as trained athletes do,

Dr. Auwerx attributes this change in large part to the significantly increased number of mitochondria he detected in the muscle cells of treated mice.

Their rationale for testing resveratrol was evidence obtained three years ago that it could activate a genetic mechanism known to protect mice against the degenerative diseases of aging and to prolong their lifespan by 30 percent.

much more moderate doses of resveratrol protected mice from the metabolic effects of a high-calorie diet. Though his mice did not lose weight, they lived far longer than undosed mice that were fed the same high-calorie diet...

...it is rare that we identify orally active molecules, especially natural molecules, that have such a broad-based, positive effect on a problem as widespread in society as metabolic disease.

Dr. Sinclair has said that he has been swallowing resveratrol capsules for three years, and that his parents and half his lab staff do the same. So does Dr. Tomas Prolla at the University of Wisconsin. "The fact that investigators in the field are taking it is a good sign there is something there." He and his colleagues said the same mechanism seems likely to operate in humans... "
And, as always, we should be interested in the investment angle:
Resveratrol is now available in capsules that contain extracts of red wine and giant knotweed, a plant found in China. One manufacturer of such capsules is Longevinex, whose president, Bill Sardi, said today that demand for the product had increased by a factor of 2400 since Nov. 1.
Which, had they stock trading on the markets, would translate to a 2400:1 increase in share price. But I think we might reasonably assume that the good doctors involved in this study either have, or will have, business opportunities in the works. Maybe a large pharmaceutical company or three, or a startup...

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